Beta Factory team rider Joe Wasson started his Hare and Hound season out strong with a top five finish at round one of the AMA National Hare & Hound Championship held in Lucerne Valley, California. The young racer from Arizona led the race after the first loop however a small mistake set him back to finish 5th in the Pro class aboard his Factory-Prepped 480 RR. Local rains made for a dust-free course and greeted riders with near-perfect conditions.
Wasson describes his race, "The morning of the race I went to practice the bomb run, after about an hour and a half I felt confident in the line I chose so I marked my spot with my practice bike and headed back to the pits. It was raining all morning so I got warmed up a bit and ready for the banner to drop at 9:30. We lined up on the start ready to go! Banner dropped and my bike didn't fire up right away so I had to fight my way through the pack right from the start. About 2 miles in I was up to 5th place and could see the leaders. It was such an awesome race due to the amount of rain we got, it made for zero dust. I made a pass on Taylor Robert and Gary Sutherlin putting me in 3rd overall and was working hard on catching the leaders. I ended up making another pass on Jacob Argubright and Ricky Brabec putting me at 1st overall! I held the lead for 15 miles or so until coming into the pit. After that I lost a position to Ricky. I was then running second for another 10 miles or so and made a mistake going up a rocky hill dropping me back to 5th place as the top group was so close together. Once in 5th I lost a little ground on the leaders and fell off the pace and ended up getting caught in a rain rut and hit the ground. I got up and tried to catch back up but they had already put distance on me so I just rode smart to the finish line knowing I had 5th overall locked up. My beta 480 and my pit crew worked great this weekend! Looking forward to the next race."
In South Carolina, the Beta team was warming up at the Burt Gin Hare Scramble. The race was Round one of the AMA East Hare Scramble Championship and the Pro class was stacked with talent. Jordan Ashburn was the top placing Beta rider with a solid 4th place finish. Beta racers Kyle McDonal and Drew Higgins finished the race in 6th and 8th respectively.
Ashburn comments, "I found myself with a terrible start to the race with near 30 guys in front of me. It was a struggle to get through everyone on the tight twisty track. I had a vine rip off my number plate the first lap while trying to create lines to pass. But I slowly picked my way through the field and was able to finish 4th place and come in just under 1 min and 30 seconds from the leader. My bike worked very well and I'm looking forward to the season to start up."
Beta support rider Kyle McDonal had this to say, "Yesterday was the first round for the National East Hare Scrambles and being the same location as the National Enduro this weekend coming up, it was packed! There were 21 Pros signed up and 16 double A, they started all of us on the same line. I battled back and forth with Thorn the first few laps and was finally able to get in front of him and put a small gap between us. I was also able to hold onto 6th overall to the finish of the two and a half hour race. It was a great way to start my season off."
The Beta team has a busy weekend with Drew Higgins starting the National Enduro chase for round one being held in Wedgefield, South Carolina and Max Gerston and Morgan Tanke doing battle in California at the King of Moto's Extreme race.
Photo by Kato